In this guide we will explain how we engage with a variety of disability groups to help Leeds Bradford Airport meet our commitment to improving passenger experience for all.
The William Merritt Centre based in Rodley, Leeds is a registered charity that provides professional and impartial advice to the public on available disability equipment. This includes assessments from occupational therapists for adults and children and also assessments for supporting travel.
We have recently attended consultations and events with the William Merritt Centre exploring the following:
Based at the William Merritt Centre, is QEF Tryb4uFly, a service which provides cabin assessments, information on travelling by air and guidance on equipment hire of support seating for both children and adults. They even host a replica cabin fuselage at the centre and an assessment allows people to experience the cabin environment.
This service is aligned to those who have booked a flight or considering travelling in the future from Leeds Bradford Airport with seats closely matching those used by Jet2 and British Airways. It also includes an Aisle Transfer Chair as used in the airport.
Aspire provides care and support services to people with learning difficulties. Based in Leeds, the society supports adults with a wide range of additional needs including physical disabilities, complex needs, sensory impairments and autistic spectrum disorders.
We have helped Aspire to offer multiple group visits to the airport with full terminal tours offering an insight on all of our facilities including check in, security, special assistance and our ambulift. This helped to highlight how we can make our passenger journey more comfortable within each process. Visitors after tour conclusions and those who go on to fly from our airport are also willing to offer their well-received feedback.
AVSED is a registered charity working across Aireborough in Leeds to prevent the social isolation of people over 60 and help them live happy, healthy and independent lives.
We have been able to host presentations with AVSED and develop relationships based on the following activities:
Little Hiccups is a Leeds based support group that was set up by parents of children with additional needs to host social sessions and days.
We have met with Little Hiccups to provide guided tours of the terminal and facilities to help support future travel arrangements from the airport. The aim was to offer reassurance to families on what to expect, particularly in terms of arriving at the car park, special assistance, security and the assistance available to and from the aircraft.
Guide Dogs for the Blind Association provides a service locally for blind and partially-sighted children, young people and adults. To help support the training of guide dogs, Leeds Bradford Airport has been able to host:
Expertise gained from the Guide Dogs Engagement Team allows us to make adjustments to our passenger journey to assist guide dogs and guide our future terminal developments and signage.
Airports can be a busy place to travel through and for those passengers with autism we understand that this experience can be stressful. With the support of Leeds Autism Services we have identified improvements to our departure information and produced a guide to help support passengers with autism.
The guide covers various stages that a passenger will go through including tips on what to pack within hand luggage, the journey to the airport, check-in, security and boarding the aircraft.
Mencap is a leading charity supporting people with a learning disability, and their families and carers. We have attended regional events raising awareness of how to support people with learning disabilities and hosted familiarisation visits from the Mencap Supported Internship group.
The supported internship group are young persons who are learning the skills associated to gaining employment and looking at different job roles that may be available. When guiding the group around the airport we are able to highlight not just the services and facilities at the airport, but also the job roles that may be available.
Leeds Mind promotes positive mental health and wellbeing, and provides help and support to people with mental health difficulties in the region. The independent charity is able to offer services like counselling, therapy and social support.
We are working with Leeds Mind to help create awareness for our hidden disability lanyard scheme, offer mental health first aid training to our teams and hosting a Stress Awareness Day.
Team members of various departments within LBA recently took part in a Mental Health Awareness Training day. This interactive session created awareness of understanding mental health through challenging perceptions and stigma, compared different models of mental health, how to recognise signs and symptoms of a range of mental health diagnoses and helped attendees to gain an awareness of mental health therapies, treatments and coping strategies.
The 'Corner Flag Cafe' project is a monthly meeting delivered by the club’s official charity for people with early-onset dementia. The sessions give them the chance to get out, socialise and talk about all things Leeds United - they look through old programmes and footage of old Leeds United fixtures to help stimulate their memories and experiences
LBA has attended 2 sessions this year and spent time with the group to learn about the project and the benefits to those members who attend each month. We have also taken part in a Q&A session with members to listen to their experiences of travelling through our airport to gain valuable feedback and also to provide the group with information on assisted travel and the lanyard scheme.
Consulting with JDRF's regional team we have been able to deliver awareness sessions to key operational managers of the special assistance and security teams to help identify Type 1 Diabetes related incidents. The consultation has also guided website information improvements and training tools for wider operational teams.
Our airport PRM Management Team host the Accessibility Group Forum to consult with disability groups and airport customers. Discussing key areas of our process like hidden disabilities, service improvements, promoting independent travel and means of pre departure information with user groups and passengers with experience of using our services helps to inform our future work.
Our forum group meets Bi-Annually in May and November.
If you are a member of a disability group based in Yorkshire who may feel that we could assist you or your group, we would be delighted to hear from you. Please email: Dave.Brown@lba.co.uk
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